This week in aviation news, AirAsia's iconic CEO Tony Fernandes steps aside for now while officials look into allegations that he accepted a bribe from Airbus in exchange for a major order. Plus, JetBlue founder unveils details about his new airline. He's calling it Breeze.
Airline News Weekly Roundup
Throughout the week we post dozens of original stories, connecting the dots across the travel industry, and every weekend we sum it all up. This weekend roundup examines aviation.
For all of our weekend roundups, go here.
AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes Out For Now Amid Airbus Bribery Probe: There’s always some give-and-take whenever any customer places a big order for anything. But did Airbus go too far to try to sway AirAsia? And what will this mean for CEO Tony Fernandes’ grand digital plans?
JetBlue Founder Finally Offers Details About His New Airline — Including Its Name: David Neeleman’s new airline promises to have good service at competitive prices. That’s his strategy at every airline, and it’s commendable. But Neeleman is also planning to operate what is essentially two business models at once. Can he pull it off?
Ryanair Downplays Long-Term Impact of Coronavirus Outbreak: Travel companies with a big exposure to China are already feeling the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. For others, the opposite is true — at least for now.
Amadeus Buys Optym’s Flight Network Planning Tech: Amadeus was smart to acquire Optym’s well-regarded software for helping airlines optimize their flight networks. While this deal is small, the tech giant is signaling its commitment to the airline technology and airport services space that goes beyond its traditional business in distribution.
You May See Fewer Starbucks Coffee Shops at U.S. Airports: Here’s Why: Airports are welcome to prefer local businesses, but they should also understand Starbucks has a loyal following and should remain in terminals. When it’s 5 a.m., and you’re at an unfamiliar airport and you just want your reliable coffee fix, Starbucks is often the best bet.
Finnair Predicts Coronavirus Will Have Limited Impact on Financials of Airlines: As long as the flight suspensions don’t last too long, Finnair thinks the impact of the coronavirus outbreak should be fairly limited. The problem is at the moment no one knows exactly how quickly, or how easily, it will spread across the rest of Asia and possibly the world.
Sabre and Farelogix Leave Merger in Judge’s Hands as the Justice Department Rests Case: A federal judge heard closing arguments in the U.S. government’s antitrust suit to block Sabre’s acquisition of Farelogix. Inside the courtroom, Judge Leonard Stark’s comments didn’t show his hand. The case seems a close call.
How Airlines Are Relying More on Design Improvements to Make Flying Better: Don’t fault airlines for lack of innovation. It’s a risky business that doesn’t always reward companies that act boldly. Instead, take solace in knowing that airlines are embracing smaller innovations that could make travel better.
Spirit Airlines Shifts Growth Strategy From Adding New U.S. Cities: Spirit Airlines entered seven new markets last year. Don’t look for that to happen again in 2020. The airline’s network is reaching maturity.
Self-Driving Cars Rise Alongside Flight Shaming: As self-driving cars move closer to becoming a reality at scale, the impact on corporate travel will be immense.
Photo credit: AirAsia CEO steps aside while officials look into bribery allegations. Lastsham / Wikimedia